Sweatpants As the Height of Fashion

The pandemic ushered in an age of zoom meetings and hyper-casual work clothing, especially from the waist down. As the working world returns to public view, the sweatpants aren’t going away.

They’re all the rage. And quite fashionable.

“Cloe adapted and she created what she called ‘The Covid Collection.’ She came out with tops and pants that are stretchy, with a thick waistband and elastic in the back. They are stretchy and loose and comfortable, so they are very in the ‘now’,” says Dilsia Hernandez, a marketing whiz and stylist with renowned Houston fashion designer and Project Runway winner Cloe Dao, who has a boutique in Rice Village. Joggers are hot. “The joggers have become the new legging. They have a drawstring waistband, they have elastic cuffs at the bottom, they’re comfortable, and they go with more. You are seeing more designers incorporate it.”

Marie Moix is literally on the cutting edge of fashion, teaching future designers at the Art Institute Austin, and says tomorrow’s designers never lived by the rules to begin with and are practically turning sweatpants into a theoretical application beyond traditional notions of cotton fabrics gathered at the waist. Anything goes. Sweatpants with dresses. Pants with more ease. Her students, she says, appreciate the gender fluidity and fabric non-conformity of sweatpants. Supply chain issues have been the mother of invention as what happens to be available takes precedence over what might have been imagined. Tomorrow’s designers have come of age during a paradigm shift of global proportion and they are testing the margins of new paradigms of dress.

What you think of as a sweatpants today probably won’t be the sweatpants of tomorrow, but will have been the inspiration for what your kids are likely to be wearing to work someday.

photo: Getty Images

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